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(film review) - Avatar: The Way of Water

It is kind of hard to believe that, a man named James Cameron made a movie called Avatar which came out in 2009 and 13 years later he makes a sequel to it creating a buzz that has gripped the world. While some people have their opinions and are divided on whether this is 13 years too late or no one actually cares about blue people in space to a rip-off of FernGully, what is this one going to be about? Let's be clear here, James is a revolutionary director with 9 movies to his name since 1982. In case you are not counting, that is 9 movies in just over 40 years. Christopher Nolan, a more recent director has 12 movies to his name since 1998. Zack Snyder has 11 movies to his name since 2004, but there is a stark difference between these three types of directors. Steven Spielberg has 30 movies to his name since 1975. But the difference between all these directors is, James is the only director who has two of the highest grossing movies of all time and every time (well almost) he created the highest grossing movie, he has also created cutting-edge technology that never existed before, revolutionising the movie-going experience. For Avatar there were 6 technological innovations he used re-inventeing motion capture, not to mention what he did for Titanic. So then it begs the question, why take this long to make a sequel to the highest grossing movie? Because, James was busy creating underwater motion capture to accurately capture movement underwater bringing this films budget to $350-$460 million dollars when it was all said and done. So, in the end you may be asking, "well, was it worth it?" 13 years for a 192 minute movie (3 hours and 10 minutes), yes...yes it was worth it.

We pick up 15 years since the events of the original Avatar movie and Jake Sully (Sam Worthington) now lives with his family Neytiri (Zoe Saldana) and 5 children. The RDA invasion of Pandora sent the humans back to earth but the humans are now back, forcing Jake to fight once again, to protect his family and to protect his people from a known threat with a vendetta against him.

If you had not seen the original Avatar, while it is not imperative that you must to understand the storyline, watching it will definitely help. I will start off with my negatives first. I felt the movie for the first 10 or so minutes was moving at a break-neck pace that forced me to focus on what was going on. There was a lot of narration and while I was taking time to adjust to the 3D glasses at first, I was finding it difficult to settle into what was going on, what was happening, who was who etc, but soon after that, the movie seemed to have slowed down to a steady pace which had me following everything nicely. The 3D was, well...3D and although it was amazing, what would I expect since I saw the first movie in 2D and 3D and it was great in both mediums, but 3D was just soo much better. Although not really a negative, I could have just done without the 3D on this occasion, although great, the 3D film over your eyes does wear a bit thin after 2 and a half hours. In one area specifically, the movie slowed down a bit for me and while I did get a tad bored in this moment, it was indeed, James Cameron flexing his muscles at this point. It was an underwater scene and it just looked beautiful and soo real, much as a blue skinned humanoid person standing at around 9 feet tall swimming in water belonging to a planet in space, could look.

As for the positives, this film is colourful, vibrant and simply beautiful, so so beautiful. The planet of Pandora, while I believe the first movie had more terrors and creatures that could harm a Na'vi creature, the planet just has creatures, amazing looking creatures, vast and huge. You can also tell that, considering the introduction to another "tribe" of Na'vi, the world of Pandora is massive or at least we are led to believe this. With the design of the creatures, James had created such a beautiful place the first time around, the second time around, the world is simply expanded introducing newer and bigger threats and things making up the planet. Pandora is not just a planet with trees, it is also a planet with wast amounts of sea so it would be interesting to see how far reaching we can go in this world. The music was great, the acting goes without saying. Zoe Saldana has the best cry-face ever on camera. She is the best cryer. The actors playing the children are also great. They are pretty much the main focus of the movie but what they were getting upto along with the dynamics simply took me years back to how I was when I was a child many many moons ago. The sound design, amazing! There was a specific scene where something was going on and it was the sound design that took me out of the film a little as I stopped and marvelled at the sound design used. The story, while not too riveting or wheel re-inventing, I had no issues with the story at all. Without going into spoilers, a film about a man trying to protect his family from a known threat. However, when watching this movie, I saw traces of nearly every film Cameron had directed before this one. The Terminator, Avatar (obviously), Titanic, maybe even The Abyss and definitely Aliens.

This is Jimmy's 10th movie in around 45 years and in case you did not know, he has written and directed sequels to "The Way of Water" already and yet to film some more sequels after the follow up sequel. We are talking about Avatar 3 and 4 and considering this movie is likely to make 1 billion, Jimmy is going to be, the highest grossing movies of all time (likely) and potentially with 3 films. Definitely worth the watch, especially the 3rd act where a lot more of the action takes place. I had watched the original recently and the film still holds up graphically with the special effects, the fact this movie is pretty much 98% special effects, it is a marvel how Jimmy does it and captivates us all the same. Great storytelling that is, he get's us with great storytelling. And at 3 hours and 10 minutes (other than the bit I personally felt a little slow - it was not that long a shot, if I am honest), this film sails by and you barely feel the length of it at all.

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